The University of Arizona Museum of Art and Archive of Visual Arts

Online | Our Stories: High School Artists

May 15 – October 23, 2021

Scroll down to enter the online exhibition. 

Whether in the classroom or at home, high school artists and art teachers are facing challenges in teaching, learning and creating that no one could have imagined. This annual exhibition—now online due to COVID-19—showcases the creativity and resourcefulness of emerging high school artists from across Tucson and Pima County. Artworks were created during the 2020-2021 school year and selected by local high school teachers.


What did emerging artists create or express through a year of change, loss, and uncertainty? How did teachers and students support and inspire each other when being together in the art classroom was very different or not possible? What new materials and ideas did artists and teachers discover when working in challenging circumstances? This exhibition showcases the diverse ideas, skills and approaches to artmaking that have been developed by young artists and their teachers in Southern Arizona.

Five participating artists were chosen to receive the Outstanding Emerging High School Artist Award, selected by a jury of faculty from the University of Arizona School of Art and UAMA staff. In partnership with the School of Art, we are excited to offer $1,000 tuition awards to any Outstanding Emerging High School Artist awardee who enrolls as a BA or BFA major at the School of Art in the next two years.

Winners of the Outstanding Emerging High School Artist Award, 2021:
Santi Groat, Ironwood Ridge High School
Maria Cazzato, Catalina Foothills High School
Kaya Lewis, Empire High School
Jordan Demler, Marana High School
Sydni Soloway, Ironwood Ridge High School

Honorable Mention:
Sarah Nielsen, Catalina Foothills High School
Victoria Medina, Desert View High School
Julianna Sarte, Marana High School

Images: Julianna Sarte, Self Portrait, 2020, Gouache on paper | Santi Groat, Mental Health, 2020, Sharpie and ball point pen